CIA contractor faces felony assault count in US
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Last Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 18:21
Denver: Prosecutors filed a felony assault charge against a CIA contractor accused of getting into a fight over a parking space in the state of Colorado months after he was involved in a fatal shootout in Pakistan.

Raymond Davis, 37, was arrested Saturday after an altercation outside a bagel shop in Highlands Ranch, a community south of Denver where he lives.

Davis has not yet entered a plea. His defence attorney, William Frankfurt, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

Authorities have released few details about the fight and did not identify the other person involved.

KUSA-TV said two drivers wanted the same spot in a crowded parking lot.

One driver pulled up behind the other, rolled down a window and began shouting, and the confrontation escalated into a physical fight, the station reported.

In January, Davis said he shot two Pakistani men who tried to rob him in Lahore. The case enraged many in the country, where anti-American sentiment runs high.

The US insisted Davis had immunity from prosecution, but he was not released until March 16 under a deal in which the victims' families agreed to accept USD 2.34 million in "blood money" under Islamic tradition.

Pakistan's security agencies came under intense domestic criticism for freeing Davis.

Davis was charged with second-degree assault-crime of violence. If convicted, he could face a possible prison term of five to 16 years.

He was originally arrested on suspicion of a lesser charge of third-degree assault, a misdemeanour. That charge carries a possible penalty of six to 18 months in a county jail.

District attorney's spokeswoman Casimir Spencer said prosecutors opted for the more serious charge because it was appropriate. She declined to elaborate.

Davis also faces a misdemeanour charge of disorderly conduct, which carries a sentence of up to six months in county jail.

Davis appeared yesterday in a court in Castle Rock, south of Denver. He was free on USD 1,750 bond and expected to return to court for another hearing today.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 04, 2011, 18:21

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